Subtlety Rogue DPS Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1
1. Choosing Azerite Gear as a Subtlety Rogue
Your choice of Azerite Gear pieces will almost always come down to the item level first, and the traits that it has second. Note that the traits you will look at when choosing gear are the Outer Ring traits, as these are the ones with the biggest impact on your gameplay.
The general rule is that if an item is a 15+ item level upgrade over another item, you should use it. If the difference between the two items is less than 15 item levels, then you should choose the one with the better Outer Ring trait. As we said, though, this is a general rule and there are exceptions; for example, if you are comparing an extremely bad trait ( Meticulous Scheming) to an extremely good one ( Inevitability). It is nearly impossible to take every single variable into account without using a tool like Raidbots to simulate the difference for yourself.
It is worth noting that if the difference between the traits is very small, then the higher item level pick will be more desirable. Azerite pieces have a high amount of Stamina, increasing your maximum health. A tiny difference in that regard can be the difference between dying and surviving, so item level is almost always king.
2. Choosing Azerite Traits as a Subtlety Rogue
In the sections that follow, we will look at the best traits to choose. The traits are not listed in order of strength since they are very close to each other. This list is more of a guideline on what traits are good for both single-target and multi-target situations.
2.1. Outer Ring
The Outer Ring traits are the first ones you unlock, and they are by far the most important from a DPS perspective. You can see the simulation comparison of these traits below.
The First Dance is by far the best trait for Subtlety Rogues, having at least one is a massive DPS increase.
Inevitability is the best trait for Subtlety in single-target situations, however in multi-target scenarios when you are casting Shuriken Storm instead, the trait has zero value. It is important to note that the secondary effect of the trait, which increases the duration of your Symbols of Death, does not multiply with the number of traits. If possible, aim to only have maximum one Inevitability trait due to the diminishing returns on this trait.
Blade In The Shadows increases the damage that your Shadowstrikes while also reducing its Energy cost. The trait is a good choice for single-target. However, like Inevitability, it has no benefit in multi-target situations.
Treacherous Covenant is a primary stat increase trait from Battle of Dazar'alor that gives massive amount of Agility, however it comes with a downside that can be frustrating in certain situations.
2.2. Middle Ring
The Middle Ring traits are all fairly close, and they will rarely affect your choice of Azerite Gear. You can see the simulation comparison of these traits below.
Overwhelming Power has the highest DPS potential of the traits in this ring, but it will lose efficiency whenever you take damage, which can be very often in some raid encounters.
Heed My Call is almost as good as Overwhelming Power, but it does not have the caveat of losing efficiency when you take damage. It also outperforms Overwhelming Power on AoE, so it is a better default option.
Gutripper is close to the top two traits which means that on bosses where execute is important, this trait gains a lot of value.
2.3. Inner Ring
The Inner Ring consists mostly of defensive or utility traits.
Longstrider is arguably the best "DPS" option in this tier. By increasing your movement speed, it allows you to close gaps and dodge things slightly faster.
Footpad gives your allies within 8 yards 392 Speed when Sprint is active. This trait provides a small raid DPS boost, similar to Longstrider as it allows you and your group members to close gaps and dodge things slightly faster.
Resounding Protection is an absorb shield that automatically gets applied every 30 seconds. This is one of the best defensive traits to have, as you will always be able to benefit from it.
3. Azerite Trait Rotation Changes and Details for Subtlety Rogue
Some of your Azerite Traits in Battle For Azeroth can have a small effect on your rotation. They generally do not change the fundamentals, but they allow you to use their effects to squeeze just a little bit more damage out than your competition.
- Night's Vengeance gives you a buff for 8 seconds after casting Nightblade, which increases the damage done of your next Eviscerate. Due to the short duration of the buff, you want to make sure you are close to Energy cap when refreshing Nightblade, so you do not miss the 8-second window to cast an Eviscerate. In AoE situations, make sure to alter between Nightblade and Eviscerate to get maximum benefit from the trait.
- Perforate causes your Backstab to give you a buff which increases the damage done of your next Backstabs for 12 seconds, stacking up to 3 times. Keeping this buff up is not going to require too much attention, but aim to refresh it before you enter Shadow Dance. Do not worry about it too much, because it is a very marginal gain.
- The First Dance alters your Shadow Dance rotation slightly due to the Combo Points it gives upon activating Shadow Dance. You will often end up with 5+ Combo Points after your first Shadowstrike, which means that you should use a finisher instead.
4. Relative Strength of Azerite Traits for Subtlety Rogue
Below we have listed the relative strength of the most relevant Azerite Traits, as far as they are implemented in our simulation tools at the moment.
Because you can have the same trait multiple times, and because some traits can change the rotation if you stack it multiple times, we have listed the relative strength of the traits depending on how many of them you have.
We are not including different item levels of Azerite pieces, because in most situations you are going to want the highest item level piece regardless. As with any rule, there are exceptions and you should always sim your own character's traits with Raidbots to be sure.
4.1. DPS Azerite Trait Ranking for Subtlety Rogue
Both of these simulations are based on Heroic Uldir gear with a good distribution of stats for the spec. As always, treat these simulations as a guideline, not a rule, and always sim your own character to be sure.
To see how Azerite traits synergize with each other and perform in AoE situations, refer to the Simulations page
4.2. Single-Target Outer Ring
4.3. Single-Target Middle Ring
5. Find Azerite Armor By Trait/Power
In the table below, you can see all of the Azerite gear available to your Subtlety Rogue. By using the + button located next to each item, you can expand the list of Azerite powers that this item possesses (to collapse the list, simply click the - button).
If you want to filter items according to the powers that they offer, you can use the filters below.
- 21 Jan. 2019: Updated descriptions.
- 14 Dec. 2018: Added note about The First Dance.
- 10 Dec. 2018: Updated for Patch 8.1.
- 26 Sep. 2018: Restructured the page.
- 04 Sep. 2018: Updated layout of the page and added couple of notes regarding Azerite traits.
- 29 Aug. 2018: Updated Azerite trait simulations.
- 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
- 11 Aug. 2018: Page updated with simulations for BfA.
- 31 Jul. 2018: Page added.
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